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08/29/2017
Kingman, AZ
Financial Crimes

Diane Maxine Richards, 60, pleaded guilty to four felony counts of theft. According to documents filed in the case, in September 2015 HSI began investigating Richards after financial institutions reported seeing unusual activity in her bank accounts.

08/18/2017
Newark, NJ
Enforcement and Removal
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Ziming Zhou, 47, entered the United States lawfully on May 6, 2014, in Los Angeles s a non-immigrant visitor for pleasure with authorization to remain in the country until Nov. 5, 2014. Zhou failed to depart within the allotted time frame. On Feb. 11, 2016, ERO Newark arrested Zhou at his place of residence.

08/01/2017
Phoenix, AZ
Financial Crimes

Paula Anthony, 65, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Douglas L. Rayes. She was indicted by a grand jury in January 2016 on one count of conspiracy to defraud, five counts of mail fraud, five counts of identity theft, and a second conspiracy charge involving money laundering.

07/27/2017
Newark, NJ
Financial Crimes

Stefan Dumitru, 29, of Queens, New York, and Florian Calin Crainic, 47, of Des Plaines, Illinois, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

07/26/2017
San Francisco, CA
Financial Crimes

Alexander Vinnik, 37, served as the owner and operator of a business known as BTC-e and was also the primary owner of BTC-e’s managing shell company, Canton Business Corporation. According to court documents, numerous withdrawals from BTC-e accounts went directly to Vinnik’s personal bank accounts. The indictment further alleges that proceeds from well-known hacks and thefts from bitcoin exchanges were funded through a BTC-e administrator account associated with Vinnik. He was arrested in Greece July 25. 

07/12/2017
Newark, NJ
Financial Crimes

Marcel Peckham, 43, of Little Neck, New York, Catalin Mihai Dragomir, 33, of Glendale, New York, Eduard Vasilica Ticu, 32, of Glendale, and Silvester Florentin Papp, 25, of Ridgewood, New York, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

06/28/2017
Scranton, PA
Financial Crimes

Rehan A. Merchant, 40, pleaded guilty in June 2016, admitting that from Sept. 2014, through Sept. 2015, he and his co-conspirators used and attempted to use counterfeit and stolen credit and debit cards to make fraudulent purchases at the Cigar and Tobacco Outlet.

06/26/2017
Honolulu, HI
Financial Crimes

Johanne P. Jarlego, 44, of Kapolei, was indicted by a federal grand jury June 21 following a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

06/22/2017
Atlanta, GA
Financial Crimes
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According to court documents, in 2014, HSI Atlanta special agents began investigating individuals across the Atlanta area that were suspected of using money-broker businesses to launder drug proceeds from the United States back to Mexico by breaking up large amounts of cash into smaller transactions, and using false names and addresses in an attempt to disguise the electronic transfers as remittances.

06/09/2017
Atlanta, GA
Financial Crimes
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ICE HSI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Nick Annan and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Atlanta Field Office Director Robert M. Del Toro signed an MOA between the agencies Wednesday to implement the Atlanta Trade Enforcement Coordination Center (TECC).

05/31/2017
New York, NY
Financial Crimes

The entire administration of the Luchese Family, as well as the captains, soldiers and associates, 19 members in total, are being charged with racketeering, murder, narcotics and firearms offenses. The superseding indictment announced Wednesday stems from a joint investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York, the FBI, the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the Waterfront Commission of the New York Harbor.

05/04/2017
New York, NY
Financial Crimes

Michael Rizzi, 45, of Staten Island, NY, was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment, ordered to forfeit 58 websites and $120,247 seized from merchant accounts, as well as the Florida vacation home that the he had purchased using proceeds of his prostitution operation. 

04/21/2017
El Paso, TX
Financial Crimes
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Monica Velasco, the 43-year-old sister of Dalia, Emmanuel and Samuel, remains a fugitive in this case. Monica Velasco is charged with conspiracy to violate the RICO statute, two money laundering counts and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and import over 1,000 kilograms of marijuana.

04/13/2017
Washington, DC
Financial Crimes
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Bharatkumar Patel, aka Bharat Patel, 43, an Indian national who had resided in Midlothian, Illinois, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge David Hittner of the Southern District of Texas.  He also agreed to deportation following his sentence.

04/06/2017
Los Angeles, CA
Financial Crimes

Ali Kakande, 37, of Los Angeles, and Sulaiman Lutale, 35, of Woodland Hills, were taken into custody by investigators with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the California Department of Insurance.

03/22/2017
Boston, MA
Financial Crimes

James Merrill, 55, of Ashland, Massachusetts, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman to six years in prison and three years of supervised release. In October 2016, Merrill pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud conspiracy and eight counts of wire fraud. He also agreed to forfeit approximately $140 million and other assets.

03/21/2017
Philadelphia, PA
Financial Crimes
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Rufus Seth Williams, 50, is charged with 10 counts of travel and use of interstate facilities to promote and facilitate bribery contrary to Pennsylvania law, two counts of Hobbs Act extortion under color of official right, five counts of honest services wire fraud and six counts of wire fraud.

03/07/2017
Washington, DC
Financial Crimes

According to court documents, ZTE illegally shipped U.S.-origin items to Iran, obstructed justice and made a material false statement. ZTE simultaneously reached settlement agreements with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

02/03/2017
El Paso, TX
Financial Crimes

Clarence Counterman, 59, owner of an income tax return preparation business known as Taxrite, was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. Counterman’s co-defendant, Robert Loya, 52, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release.

01/30/2017
Trenton, NJ
Financial Crimes

Miguel Antonio Azcona, aka “Miguel A. Azcona-Peralta,” 38, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Mary L. Cooper in Trenton federal court to information charging him with one count of theft of government funds.

01/23/2017
San Juan, PR
Financial Crimes
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The San Juan TECC is the first federal partnership of its kind in Puerto Rico and tenth in the nation to combat fraudulent foreign trade. The center will identify, inspect and investigate foreign trade suspected of being fraudulently introduced into Puerto Rico.

01/10/2017
Houston, TX
Financial Crimes

Juan Jose Hernandez Comerma (Hernandez), 51, of Weston, Florida, pleaded guilty in federal court in Houston to one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and one count of violating the FCPA. Charles Quintard Beech III, 46, of Katy, Texas, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA.

01/05/2017
Boston, MA
Financial Crimes
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Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha, 28, a Brazilian national living in Westborough, Massachusetts, was charged via criminal complaint with one count of conspiring to commit money laundering.  Rocha was ordered detained following an appearance Thursday before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Judith G. Dein.

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